An Evening to Inspire – Gotthard 2016 Celebration

By Ishaan Arora, Intern – swissnex India, June 2016

swissnex India celebrated the inauguration of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland on Thursday, the second of June 2016 within its premises. The event ended up hosting a crowd of more than ninety guests which consisted of experts belonging to many-a-field, not to mention, interested enthusiasts. This pioneering feat of Swiss engineering was in essence what attracted such a diverse group of individuals to flock to the event.

Educational, entertaining and engaging are just a few of the adjectives which could be used to describe the evening. In order to answer the budding questions the visitors were bound to have regarding the various challenges faced by the people working on the project, a panel discussion was held with, Prof. em. Christian Schlüchter, Geology, University of Bern; Mr. Jose Joseph, Senior VP, T&D Infrastructure and Grid Integration Solutions ABB India Ltd.; and Mr. Luca Rapagna, Engineering Manager, Alstom India Ltd. which led to an informed and interactive discourse between the guests and the panelists.

The keynote speaker, Prof. Schlüchter, shared his personal experiences as a renowned glacial geologist during his research on the Gotthard Tunnel. He went on to talk about the technicalities of the project and how the project was not only beneficial for trade and logistics but, was a triumph for the existing ecosystem around the Alps as well.
In conclusion, this 57.1 km marvel running 23,000 m under the Alps which took 20 years to meticulously craft into reality, truly epitomizes Swiss innovation. Establishing a new major trade route, right in the heart of Europe, will not only revolutionize mobility, but, more importantly, help in setting an honest and verifiable example of sustainable development; it just goes to show the world, it can be done.